Women on the Rise: How we created a successful gender diversity initiative

By TAB under News 30 January 2020

On Wednesday 29th January, we joined over 1,200 business and technology leaders at the sixth Women in IT awards, the largest technology diversity event in the world. It was an evening dedicated to showcasing the achievements of women in the sector and identifying new role models in an effort to tackle the ongoing gender imbalance within the technology industry.


We were delighted to be shortlisted for the ‘Diversity Initiative of the Year’ award this year, in recognition of our efforts in promoting gender diversity with the ‘Women on the Rise’ initiative. 


Over the last few years, we have placed an increasing importance on building Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. David Tuck, Managing Director of TAB explained: “TAB helps ambitious organisations to create products that make the world work better. Creating diverse and inclusive teams passionate about creating products which cater for and represent a diverse range of customer needs is central to achieving this ambition. As an organisation, this is reflected in our people mission to - ensure that every person at every level at TAB feels heard and empowered to shape TAB today and tomorrow”


It was from this mission that we began to prioritise a more holistic approach to diversity through activities such as hosting code-bar events, women in tech workshops and running unconscious bias training to make sure we were hiring the best talent we could. 


Led by Mitzi Lagerweij (Head of Market-Expansion Benelux), a small task-force including Rachel Priest (Connective Growth Partner) and Shaima Eaton (Senior People Partner) launched ‘Women on The Rise’ in 2017. The initiative set out to improve both the overall gender diversity at TAB, in addition to the proportion of female TABbers in senior roles. Through support networks, business breakfasts, discussion groups, inspirational speakers, enhanced parental packages and many other initiatives, we have helped promote females into senior roles by over 10% in the past year. 


To support gender hiring goals, we bake diversity into our hiring process by running job adverts through software to remove gendered language, making sure women were present in every interview as well as speaking at industry events such as Women of Silicon Roundabout.  


Mitzi Lagerweij, founder of the ‘Women on the Rise’ initiative said: “To have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award in the first year of our initiative is something we are all incredibly proud of. We’re tracking diversity data across the board, allowing us to make more objective decisions - this has resulted in 14% more women at TAB in just under one year! A big community of women at TAB, more women in leadership and a forum for an open and honest discussion is just the start - I can’t wait to see what’s to come.” 


We are already seeing a number of broader diversity and inclusion initiatives being kick-started internally as a result of the success of ‘Women on the Rise’. While we have made great progress, we aren’t slowing down anytime soon. 2020 is set to be a big year for diversity & inclusion, both at TAB and the wider Kin + Carta group.